The HITCO News
HITCO Carbon Composites, Inc. is a major supplier of Composite Aerostructures Assemblies and High Temperature Materials to the Aerospace and Industrial Markets. Founded in 1922 by Harry I. Thompson, HITCO is the oldest, continuously operating composites provider in the United States. Located on 26 acres just 20 minutes away from Los Angeles International Airport, HITCO is ideally situated to serve both domestic and international Aerospace customers.
What does HITCO have to offer?
HITCO has the know-how, facilities and equipment, business and quality processes, Lean Manufacturing principals, and most importantly, a track record of success to help our customers successfully transition traditional metal structures to composites.
HITCO employs over 550 hourly and salaried employees who exclusively engineer, fabricate, assemble and inspect aerospace composites. HITCO's technical group has extensive experience in concurrently developing highly complex aerospace composites. To cite just two examples: both the C-17 Tail cone and Delta IV nozzle assembly were designed, tooled and delivered in less than 12 months, and despite tremendous change and considerable growth in complexity; HITCO was able to maintain or reduce pricing to its customer.
Facilities and equipment
HITCO recently installed three Automated Tape Laying Machines (ATL) and an Automated Fiber Placement Machine (AFP). This enables the Company to produce a fully automated broad base of high quality composite products with respective increase in productivity. This new and highly advanced processing technology is an essential move for production of composites compared to the traditionally mainly hand layed-up products. HITCO currently has approximately 450,000 square feet of space under roof. About 75% of the total space is dedicated to manufacturing. Current modernization of the manufacturing facilities, begin in 2007 and have targeted the total clean room capacity to peak at some 200,000 ft. Additionally, HITCO has all the necessary equipment to fabricate large-scale high complexity assemblies. Current modification program underway will increase HITCO's autoclave capacity by 3 additional autoclaves increasing the total to 14 large autoclaves. Supporting the newly procured automation HITCO has also increased its capability in the area of machining with the addition of a large 5-axis SNK CNC gantry mill, the first of two Parpas Precision Milling machines, these along with various other large N/C mills and lathes are further supported with the addition of a new 5-axis gantry style water jet.
Business and quality processes
HITCO is also certified to ISO 9001, D1-9000 Rev. A, and AS 9100 Rev. B. Also NADCAP approved to: AS7108/1, AS 7114/3, and AS 7118/3. The Company has a Quality Systems built to meet the most demanding Aerospace, Military and FAA standards for documentation and process controls. Further, HITCO has refined these systems to produce records and documentation at the lowest total cost. The net result is 100% traceability and process control.
HITCO's experience with lean manufacturing began in 2000 when it implemented its first JIT assembly line. Since that time, every major process and assembly has been re-engineered using lean principales. All new programs will utilize the best practices of this combined experience. Concepts like visual factory control, KanBan, Statistical Process Control and 6S are implemented from the program inception. The benefits to our customers mean shorter lead-times and lower unit prices.
HITCO is a supplier that has proven its ability to develop, tool and fabricate large complex, high risk, and high value programs. HITCO is confident that our experience with flight critical hardware ensures our customers with product and materials meeting the highest quality product at the lowest possible cost.